In three separate posts for Third and State, Marc Stier discusses the Pennsylvania state budget and two different aspects of the tax system in our state.
Act I: An adequate proposal
In his first post Marc asks, “What Would an Adequate Pennsylvania Budget Look Like This Year?” An adequate proposal would be to balance our long-term public investment deficit with sufficient funding for education (from kindergarten to college), the Department of the Environment, and infrastructure projects. It’s a question of expanding public investment versus embracing austerity measures called for by many Republicans, measures which would include cuts to critical programs like Medicaid and substance abuse treatment. Marc offers several solutions to PA’s budget woes. These include:
Click here to read Marc Stier’s complete post.
Act II: Our upside down tax system
Why does the top 1% pay only 4.3% of their income in taxes while the middle 20% pays 10%? It all boils down to the Pennsylvania Constitution which prohibits the enactment of a graduated personal income tax. Marc Stier, in his recent post, says the solution for fixing this upside down system is to adopt what is known as a “Fair Share Tax”. SB555, a bill which calls for such a tax, has been introduced in by Senators Hughes, Haywood, and Costa. These are the key elements of the Fair Share Tax according to Marc:
The Fair Share Tax is projected to raise about $2 billion in revenue in the first year, with 50% of new revenue coming from the top 1% of taxpayers. Marc argues, “A Fair Share Tax would enable us to begin to close our budget and public investment deficits without increasing taxes on working people and the middle class.”
Learn more about the Fair Share Tax from Marc Stier’s blog post. What is the Fair Share Tax?
Act III: Drilling down on the severance tax
In a third post, Marc explains why a severance tax on natural gas is long overdue. He lays out four reasons why this is the case:
posted by Amy Levengood